Game developer claims he's a victim of Apple's one-sided copyright complaint system

by Mike Rougeau

January 14 2014

The developer of the iOS game osu!stream claims a false copyright infringement claim leveled against him has caused his game to be wrongfully taken down.

Developer Dean "Peppy" Herbert wrote in a blog post on Monday that another party, Alek Nilsen, filed a copyright claim against him with Apple for a spiral graphic used in the game osu!stream. Nilsen said he created the graphic from scratch, but Herbert claims that's not the case, and that the graphic was actually derived from other, earlier works.

Herbert says he tried for months to resolve the claim with his accuser and to explain his side to Apple, but that his protestations and evidence fell on deaf ears and his game was recently removed from the App Store. He also claims an impatient Nilsen, desiring results, inundated Herbert with spam and launched malicious DDoS attacks against him and his game.

Regardless of what's true, this situation highlights the difficulties of running an online marketplace as large as Apple's. Should the company be expected to personally arbitrate every copyright claim it receives, frivolous or not?

Herbert is now seeking legal counsel, something he acknowledges he should have done from the beginning. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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